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Android phones and USB DACs

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by nztechfreak, Feb 9, 2012.
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  1. SV_huMMer
    Samsung Galaxy S3 -> USB OTG -> M2Tech HiFace DAC -> RSA Predator Line In -> AMAZING!!!
    OK, it looks like I've found my audiophile nirvana: today I got my hands on the M2Tech HiFace 384 kHZ/32 Bit USB DAC.
    First things firs: I am here to report compatibility of Galaxy S3 (Stock Kernel, non-rooted) via USB OTG with HiFace DAC, both directly (using any player software), but of course capped to 16bit/48kHz content, and  via UARP, effortlessly streaming up to 24/192:
    But probably even more importantly, I am happy to report (almost) perfect compatibility with Sony Xperia Sola via USB OTG with UARP but without USB hub!!!
    Now, why, would you wonder, is it (almost) perfect? 
    Well, here's the bad news: I occasionally here unpleasant clicks fed into the sound, when using M2Tech HiFace DAC with Xperia Sola (both driven directly, and, out of curiosity, via a non-powered USB hub). My wild guess is that the device consumes just about the maximum Sola can provide in OTG mode. I will need to check this theory by trying to use HiFace DAC with powered hub, but I don't have one at hand right now.
    Note that I am not hearing these clicks when using with Samsung Galaxy S3, which apparently has a beefier USB OTG power cirquitry. Nor I hear any unwanted clicks with HiFace out of a PC USB Port.
    Apart from this - man, this thing is gorgeous!!!
    I will not go into detailed SQ description here, as this is slightly off-topic, but it really does a fantastic job!
    As if it wasn't already enough, this baby is a portable hifier's dream: just look how neatly it fits my RSA Predator's side wall - they were ment to go together, no less! :))))
    Icing on the cake: of course, I could not resist, and tested HiFace DAC with my PC. Note that a special driver is required, available at M2Tech web site.
    I connected HiFace DAC to my Laconic HA-04AF tube headphone amp...
    and bingo! Stereo DXD 24/352.8 in its shimmering beauty!
    I am  happy man! :)
    DanBa likes this.
  2. Davy Wentzler
    Warning: that is NOT an OTG cable!! Please make sure it looks like this and actually says OTG in the description:
  3. DanBa
    A probable competitor of the 32/384 M2Tech hiFace DAC: the upcoming 32/384 Light Harmonic GEEK: 
    "Hey audiophile geeks! I just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a $300 USB DAC/Headphone amp that does 32/384 and DSD128, engineered by Light Harmonic. Early backers can get it for $99.
    [$99 for 100 super early adopters: all gone!
    $119 for 200 early adopters: all gone!
    $139 for 500 still kinda early adopters: all gone!
    $159 for 500 you’re pushing it adopters: on going]
    An on-the-go, high-res DAC and headphone amp that plugs into your computer's USB port. Your videos, music, & games will rule!
    GEEK takes a lot of the technology we developed when we were researching Da Vinci DAC,
    and squeezes it into one tiny little package that we plan on selling for $299 retail.  Stick it into your laptop and plug in your headphones!"
    "What DAC Chip are you using?
    We're using the TI PCM1795 DAC IC.
    What USB Asynchronous chip it use?
    SMSC USB3343
    Does GEEK have volume control?
    Yes. there are two buttons on the side of the device that control volume up/down, mute, and 3D on/off.
    Will GEEK work on all computer operating systems?
    Every operating system that has native support for USB 2.0 will work without the need to load a driver.
    Would the Geek also work with my Nexus 10 Tablet connecting it using an OTG USB cable?
    We haven't tested that. In theory it will work, but keep in mind that GEEK's amplifier is pure class A. While not playing sound it doesn't draw power. But when sound is on, it draws A LOT of power."
    GEEK vs. the Others
  4. PeterJP
    Thanks. There were some websites that described this adapter as OTG. But I ended up ordering this: https://www.codima.be/nl/catalog/kabels/usb-kabels-en-converters/usb-conversie/startech-startech-usb-otg-adapter-12-7-cm-micro-usb-b-m-to-usb-a-f-uusbotg and I'm hoping it'll be here this week.
  5. FlySweep
    Good looking out DanBa.. I threw $159 down for the LH Geek campaign.
  6. m-i-c-k-e-y
    M2tech Hiface DAC truly shines when you use those 24/192 files. Hey it plays DXD out on your smartphone!
    Too bad when i updated to the latest firmware on my Xperia Z, USB Recorder Pro hangs once in a while (did not happen before).
    Still waiting for my Arrow 4G to complete my portable set up.
  7. NZtechfreak
    Cool, whatever the issue was with ordering the NOVA Tiny-M it has been fixed, now have one of those coming to me in addition to the HiFimeDIY Android DAC. Dying to know how these are. if loud enough for IEMs I expect I may get a fair amount of use from them!
  8. earfonia
    I just tested Hifimediy UAE23 USB Sabre DAC (the non-tiny version) with Samsung S4, it doesn't work with with the S4 default player, and other apps like YouTube.  I haven't tested with USB Audio Recorder, since the phone was not mine.
  9. ReNnxz
    A little more info about OTG cables, It appears to me that now stock Micro heads have ready made OTG heads, whereby the pin 4 and pin 5 heads are jointed together already.
    Thus, there is no need for factories to do further soldiering. 
    You can see that the pin 4 and pin 5 are made up of one piece of metal actually.
  10. SV_huMMer
    Quick update on M2Tech HiFace DAC: here's the confirmation that the device indeed claims low current from the host, which greatly increases its compatibility:
    See the highlighted item: it only claims 100mA! Bravo! 
    Oh, Ray Samuels, why oh why did you make your USB DAC/Amps claim the whole 500mA...
    But I am still plagued by clicking sounds when used out of my Xperia Sola... Too low/bad power output of Xperia's host mode?  
  11. m-i-c-k-e-y
    Didn't experienced it. Increase buffer in your usb recorder pro? Or some program running in the background?

    Sent from my C6603 using Tapatalk 4
  12. SV_huMMer
    What phone? Same as mine?
  13. m-i-c-k-e-y
    Nope sorry, mine is an Xperia Z.
    Had experienced those clicking sound before i can't remember what i did.
    I increased the buffer or removed some background apps (facebook, skype etc.).

    After 4 months of using, by then had numerous updates (phone and app). And it was doing well, so i could not tell.

    Its just this 2 weeks when I updated to the new phone firmware that gave me problems again.

    Sent from my C6603 using Tapatalk 4
  14. satwilson
    @ Danba, I don't know what I did wrong the first time, however I now have the new asynch U2 DAC working with my Xperia TL>Winamp>OTG>hub>U2>amp/phones! Stock ROM.
    DanBa likes this.
  15. DanBa
    Regarding HiFimeDIY USB DACs at least, the Sony's USB Audio implementation is better than the one implemented by Samsung, because the HiFimeDIY Sabre TenorTE7022 can only work with Galaxy S3/S4/Note2 using USB Audio Recorder PRO.
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